The Department faculty engages in a wide range of research within DUSP's four specialization areas (also referred to as Program Groups): City Design and Development; Environmental Policy and Planning; Housing, Community and Economic Development; and the International Development Group. There are also three cross-cutting areas of study: Transportation Planning and Policy, Urban Information Systems (UIS) and Regional Planning. Students who would like to take part in ongoing faculty research projects should contact one of the faculty listed, who have expressed a specific interest in working with undergraduates. Projects are available in such areas as: consumer and environmental protection, housing and community development, law, legislative process, urban design, networks, human rights, GIS, urban modeling, transportation, and Education.
Students should submit their Course 11 UROP applications to Prof. Klopfer as early in the term as possible. Students who wish to use UROP credit to satisfy departmental or Institute degree requirements should discuss their plans with the UROP Coordinator.
Faculty Research Descriptions
- Prof. Joseph Ferreira Jr., 9-516, x3-7410, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Computer-based modeling and spatial analysis for transportation and land-use planning and urban information systems (especially computing-intensive projects involving maps, images, Geographic Information Systems, and geoprocessing services); urban information systems; risk assessment and risk management involving public safety and insurance.
- Prof. Robert Fogelson, 9-639, x3-1671, email@example.com
- Urban History, esp. urban "rent wars, 1917-1929
- Prof. David Geltner, W31-310G, x3-5131, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lecturer Ezra Glenn, 7-338, x3-2024, email@example.com
- MIT Data Diggers: Uncovering Data across the Institute. This project engages undergraduate students in statistical analysis and data visualization across a variety of topics. Teams of interdisciplinary "Data Diggers" will be assigned a topic and faculty client and charged with making sense of complex data sets related to work across the Institute. Will include both exploratory and inferential analysis techniques and tools. At the end of each semester, teams will present the results of their explorations at agrand, celebratory "Dig-In."
- Prof. Steve Hammer, 9-314, x4- 5681, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) seeks one or more undergraduate students to conduct basic research and provide support to its global network of researchers focused on urban climate change topics. (For more information about UCCRN, see www.UCCRN.org. Prof. Stephen Hammer from DUSP helped co-found and is one of the co-directors of the UCCRN.) UROP students will provide support to Professor Hammer and the leadership of the UCCRN as we launch work on our second major report (known as ARC3 2.0). This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in learning more about climate change science, climate mitigation and adaptation studies, and global policy efforts to address climate change. UROP responsibilities include conducting basic research on urban climate change topics, managing/maintaining the UCCRN website, supporting the development of our quarterly newsletter, and helping to reorganize the UCCRN membership database. Students will also be invited to the UCCRN's winter 2013 workshop in New York City (exact dates TBD) to provide logistical support to ARC3 2.0 working sessions analyzing the current state of affairs on urban climate change topics.
- Prof. Annette Kim, 9- 539, x4-6135, email@example.com
- SLAB: Sidewalk Lab, Maps of Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Create new kinds of maps for publication in a forthcoming book, upcoming traveling exhibit in 2012, and our website. Each member works on their maps for the week and we meet back together at a weekly meeting for feedback and ideas. We have a positive, friendly, and high motivation vibe. 1) Creative ideas, a keen eye, and skills with Illustrator and Photoshop. Additional familiarity with Rhino or After Effects would be bonus. 2) Strong work ethic., 3) Solutions-oriented attitudes: the UROPs will be welcomed to make suggestions and be a full partner in the project team at our weekly meetings. 4) good time management and communication skills: We are working as a team, on a deadline.
- Prof. Eric Klopfer, 10-337, x3-2025, firstname.lastname@example.org
- K-12 student and teacher education. Particularly focusing on the development and use of computer games and simulations for science learning on handhelds and desktop computers.
- Prof. Ceasar McDowell, 7-307, x3-7587, email@example.com
- Ceasar's current work is on the advancement of community and indigenous knowledge. Using advanced tools like Digital Storytelling he has been working on the use of narrative and story making as a tool for sharing and maintaining grassroots knowledge. His research and teaching interests also include the use of mass media and technology in promoting democracy and community-building, the education of urban students, the development and use of empathy in community work, civil rights history, peacemaking and conflict resolution. Prof. McDowell heads the Center for Reflective Community Practice (CRCP), which sponsors many UROP opportunities around community knowledge and media.
- Prof. Karen R. Polenske, 9-535, x3-6881, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use of computing for regional analyses, public-infrastructure (transportation, water, and sewer) investment analyses in the United States and Third World countries, economic and environmental impact analyses, theory of property rights.
- Prof. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, 9-518, x8-7721, email@example.com
- "Mainstreaming Land Rights in Peace Building and State Building: Towards a Community-driven transformation" There is a serious gap in research, policy and scholarly understanding on these and related aspects of land as it pertains to peacebuilding and statebuilding. This project aims to fill this gap through the framework of land rights as a conflict prevention and mitigation tool, and its potential for peacebuilding and economic development. We intend to partner with African institutions beginning with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa both academic and activist in this project, and aim at increasing cross-border learning and capacity building for peacebuilding. Through this, we intend to develop a unique and better North-South academic collaboration in which the South is taken seriously as an equal partner.
- Prof. Bish Sanyal, 9-637, x3-3270, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Low-income housing, urban informal employment, planning history and theory; Historical understanding of how North American Planners have viewed their counterparts in other developed as well as developing countries.
- Prof. Karl Seidman, 9-511A, x3-3964, email@example.com
- Green Infrastructure and Economic Development. As part of CoLab's Green Economic Development Initiative, this project in conducting research and analysis for a report on the economic development opportunities from public and private investments in green stormwater management infrastructure. Research will include conducting surveys and interviews with firms involved in green infrastructure projects, collecting data on the investment size and components for different types of projects, preparing brief profiles of workforce training or economic development initiatives around green infrastructure.
- Prof. Lawrence Susskind, 9-332, x3-2026, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Professor Susskind (email@example.com) is working on a range of environmental issues. As part of the MIT Science Impact Collaborative (scienceimpact.mit.edu) ,he is studying more effective ways of ensuring that "good science" is taken into account in all kinds of environmental decision-making. This year, the Collaborative will be working on (1) Water Diplomacy: we are focused on Middle East Water Negotiations (between Israel and Jordan and between Israel and the Palestinians). We are very focused on how new desalination technology might open up areas of possible agreement that have been closed before; (2) Hydropower in Chile and the Rights of Indigenous People: we are focused on the likely impacts of new hydro development in Patagonia on the Mapuche people. With support from MISTI-Chile we are working with colleagues at universities in Chile. Our goal is to help develop new and better ways of ensuring "Free, Prior Informed Consent" so that the rights of indigenous people are protected as water and energy development proceed; (3) Climate Change Impacts on Estuaries in New England: We hope to be working with towns in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine to test the use of new public educational efforts aimed at building community-wide agreement on the best ways of managing the risks associated with climate change; and (4) International Treaty Negotiation: The existing system by which the countries in the world attempt to formulate multilateral agreements is not working very well. The Climate Change Treaty is not being implemented effectively for a series of not very surprising reasons. Yet, efforts are afoot to enact still more global treaties (like one banning the use and emission of certain mercury compounds). We are trying to thinking about ways of ensuring that science gets taken seriously in global treaty formulation and implementation.
- Prof. James Wescoat, 10-390, x3-0567, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Research projects focus on water in environmental planning, policy, and landscape design in the U.S. and South Asia. Disaster-resilient design; human dimensions of climate change in complex river basins. Landscape and garden history and heritage conservation in South Asia.